An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital on Tuesday sentenced seven men who were involved in the kid­nap of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, to life impris­onment.
The seven men, who were all Fulani herdsmen were found guilty of kidnapping the elder statesman in his farm in Ilado Village, Akure North Local Government Area of the state in September, 2015.
The convicts are: Abuba­kar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Mu­hammed, Idris Lawal, Ab­dulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato.
They were initially ar­raigned on five counts of kid­napping, abduction, aiding and abetting, kidnapping, conspir­acy and armed robbery.
The offences were said to be contrary to Section 2 of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 5(1) (a) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Ab­duction Laws, Section 3(11)(b) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law, Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Fire­arms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
It would be recalled that the former Minister for Fi­nance spent three days in the den of the kidnappers while a sum of N5milllion was re­portedly paid as ransom to the hoodlums.
It took the intervention of President Muhammadu Buha­ri who ordered the former In­spector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase to rescue the National Chairman of the So­cial Democratic Party.
In his judgment, the tri­al judge, Justice Williams Ola­mide held that the seven ac­cused persons were guilty of the kidnapping charge brought against them by the Ondo State Government.
He said the recovered ran­som, call logs, and identifica­tion of the suspects by Chief Falae himself, indicted the convicts of complicity in the crime and subsequently sen­tenced them to Olokuta pris­on, Akure for life, without an option of a fine.
He however discharged them of two of the counts, con­spiracy and armed robbery.-The Authority